Journal Post for the week of July 25, 2011

VOLUME VI, JOURNAL VI
JULY 25, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Greetings from the farm! Well here we are the last week of July. Wait a second, JULY?! The summer is blowing by us. And now dare I say here is August next week? Wow! The girls got lots of swimming in the ocean and the pool last week – I don’t remember when our toes were so clean:) It was great to see the girls laugh and splash and have fun – especially missing the heat wave that was here – on the ocean it was at most 80 degrees and very breezy and no mosquitoes. We were very lucky, big thanks to Nana for having us down and the aunties and uncle who played so much with Sadie and Delia. We are happy to be back though – the weather on Sunday was divine! And I hear there will be rain hopefully tonight and into tomorrow – all the crops could use some rain.

We had the Great Garlic Harvest today. 1.5 weeks earlier than normal – it is usually a harvest that occurs on or very near our wedding anniversary – August 2nd. Either way – the GARLIC IS BEAUTIFUL! We have it drying in the barn – in bread crates and hanging from the ceiling of the barn. Big thanks to Gail, Diantha, Sophie, Adora, Ashlynn and Tracy for getting it all out. WAHOooooooo! Also a HUGE thanks to our friends of the Congregational Church of South Hero who trucked out here for a morning in November who helped this very pregnant mama and papa to plant 30 lbs of garlic. Over 25 folks showed up to help – we had it all planted in 15 minutes. Wow! And todays harvest took 45 minutes! Way to go.

We are picking the firsts of tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash this week. It is just a taste and more to come – I promise – but we wanted to make sure you all got some. The great thing with these is that when they first come in – we treasure their yummy greatness. They are so tasty – you can taste all the goodness from the soil, the rain, the sun, the wind, and dare I say snow in them. Everything we do to the soil, makes our food taste the way it does. I am glad we did not push our soil too much this spring – it was worth the wait. To feel those tender, young summer squash being cut from the vine and laid so gingerly in the basket this morning – so delicate but full of flavor. The tomatoes from the hoophouse are turning red, orange, yellow and purple – they drip with sun ripeness – we appreciate each and everyone that comes. We appreciate them even more because we had many friends come and help put up this new hoophouse this past fall and early winter – being very pregnant and then with a little one tucked in my coat. These tomatoes are full of lovin’ from lots of people near and far. And those super sweet cherry tomatoes – we picked a few pints today – well 8 pints – it was hard not to gobble them all up – some of you may choose to have cherries over full size tomatoes. These tomatoes we spoke to, we cared for, transplanted and told them to have patience while we waited for the ground to warm and water to recede. They are all the better tasting for all that waiting. The field heirloom tomatoes (all 1000 feet of them) are growing robust and green – flash tape flickering in the breeze to keep them from being gobbled up by crows. You can hear them growing – cheering each other on. Soon we will have over 25 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes for your table and your bellies.

I got the opportunity to work without a babe on my back and by my side last night and I pulled at the power weed whacker out. I stood amongst the cucurbur field – in all of its glowing, luscious greenness – and took back paths to all the plants: cucumbers, zucchinis, summer squash, melons, watermelons, tomatoes (tomatoes are a night shade do to field conditions this year they got to get cozy with their cousins – they don’t seem to mind) – it was a site of beauty – I could feel the cucurbit family let their hair down and start filling in the spaces I just made clearing the weeds and grasses. Our farm at dusk – is beautiful – you can see everything growing – if you are still and present – and it opens its world to you.

We still have frozen, Certified Organic Pasture raised Heritage Chicken for sale. $6.00lb and they range between 3.5 – 5.25 lbs. Let us know if you are interested. We will have another batch – ready in the first week of August.
Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: A Variety of Lettuce Heads, Basil, Napa Cabbage, Bok Choy, Arugula, maybe some more oriental eggplant , garlic, a couple of hot peppers, sweet peppers, zucchini, summer squash, TOMATOES, and maybe a few other things !

EGGS FOR SALE We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs that are brown, green and blue – with the brightest yellow/orange yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $5.00 a dozen.

PICK YOUR OWN RASPBERRIES – right here on Quaker Rd – Our neighbors Meg and Jim now have their pick your own raspberry field open – please call them for hours. The raspberries are so yummy – Sadie needs to pick a few each night – to make sure they are still yummy. You can reach Meg at 343-5497. THE PICKING IS WONDERFUL! They are 3.50 pint for PYO. At the farmers market they sell for 4.00 1/2 pint. Also Meg has some of her delicious Raspberry Jam – made with just a touch of sugar and raspberries.

PICK YOUR OWN BLUBERRIES – right here on the corner of Quaker and Adam Schools Road – Kathy and Steve now have their blueberry patch open – usually Thursday through Saturday – its best to call them for times. Their number is 372-5656. If you get their answering machine just listen to the message it will tell you if they are open or not for the day.

Recipes:

GRILLED BUTTER LETTUCE SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK-CHIVE DRESSING
(adapted from Fine Cooking #105)

1 butter lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup creme fraiche (I substituted sour cream)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs thinly sliced chives
1/2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil for the grill

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill at medium-high heat. Whisk the buttermilk, creme fraiche, olive oil in a bowl. Add the chives, lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve. Brush the grill with a light coating of vegetable oil, place the lettuce, cut side down, and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the grilled lettuce to a serving plate, cut side up, and drizzle the dressing over it. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, and serve.Grilling the lettuce intensifies its flavor, and changes the texture ever so slightly, making each bite have its own character: closer to the edge a bit smokey, a crisper and brighter taste as you indulge deeper. The buttermilk dressing is very flavorful – it will certainly go well over other roasted or steamed veggies. I can see myself grilling lettuce during the whole Summer!

Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/crunchy_bok_choy_slaw.html
From EatingWell: August/September 2006

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups very thinly sliced bok choy, (about a 1-pound head, trimmed)
2 medium carrots, shredded
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Whisk vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard and salt in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add bok choy, carrots and scallions; toss to coat with the dressing.

Bok Choy, Carrot and Apple Slaw
http://healthy.food.com/recipe/bok-choy-carrot-and-apple-slaw-94458

3 heads baby bok choy
1 teaspoon coarse salt ( divided)
1 apples, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces (I hear Hacketts has early apples starting today)
1 carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
freshly grated pepper
Cut bok choy in half lengthwise. Cut stem off as well as any bruised leafy tops. Rinse each half thouroughly to remove any grit. Slice each half crosswise into thin strips. Place all in a colander. Rinse lightly and shake until most of water has drained. Coat top with 1/2 tsp salt, and cover with a plate that fits inside the colander. Place a canned good on top of the plate to weigh it down. Meanwhile place apple and carrot matchstick pieces in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, canola oil, and ginger. Add bokchoy to the bowl with the apple and carrot. Add 1/2 tsp coarse salt and some freshly grated pepper to taste. Stir and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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